Sheffield student Thomas Lowson only had a slim chance of going to university when he topped the scales at 24 stone and was so unhappy his grades started to suffer.
But today, 10 stone lighter, he is celebrating after achieving a grade B in film studies and a C in media studies – guaranteeing him a place at Leeds Trinity University.
The 19-year-old, from Grenoside, was bullied throughout school and sixth form.
He left, enrolled at Sheffield College’s Hillsborough campus and is now the happiest he has ever been.
“I weighed 24 stone at my heaviest, which is an obscene amount to weigh,” he said.
“I did a year at sixth form but then I moved here and started on a weight loss programme, which has changed my life so much.”
He said staff and newfound friends had supported him.
“Everyone has been supportive, everyone has been so kind and friendly – it’s hard not to feel cared for here as opposed to when I was at sixth form and very much isolated,” he added.
“Nobody knew my history or that everyone called me names. I was no longer the butt of everyone’s jokes and it was no longer acceptable for everyone to pick on me.
“My problems with weight started when I was eight. I was a bit chubby and would get called names by the other kids. This sent me into a cycle of eating more to comfort myself about being bullied.
“By the time I got to secondary school it was much worse, with the kids thinking it was acceptable to call me Fatso and Fatty all the time.
“Because of this I didn’t have many friends and was never social so I would bury my head in a book.
“I feel like a different person. I’m so excited to be going to uni. This is the first time I’ll be starting something as a slim person.
“People will not know my history. This is a brilliant new start for me. I know my future is a bright one. I now know I can do anything.”